Sometimes your past can come back to haunt you. This is especially true when it comes to credit reports and credit scores. Negative records such as late payments, collection records and bankruptcy filings stay on your credit report for 7-10 years under FCRA law. This means that a few years of irresponsible behavior in college can lead to higher interest rates on your mortgage five years later. Luckily, these records do eventually expire from your credit reports and leave you with a clean slate. Here is a breakdown of the expiration dates for credit report records:
Bankruptcy filing records – Bankruptcy filing records expire from your credit reports 10 years after the filing date. Based on credit bureau preferences, Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings may be removed from your report after 7 years instead. Each account marked as “included in BK” remains on your report for 7 years from the filing.
Charge-off records – When a creditor or lender charges-off your delinquent debt as a loss a record appears on your credit report. This record remains on your credit report for 7 years.
Collection records – Collection records expire 7 years after the last 180 day late payment that led to the account being sold to collections. This expiration date is the same even if the account was sold to another collection agency.
Closed accounts – Closed negative accounts (with late payment or other negative records) will expire from your credit report after 7 years. Closed positive accounts (with no late payments or other negative records) can remain on your credit report longer.
Foreclosure records – Property died-in-lieu and foreclosure records will remain on your credit report for 7 years.
Inquiries – Records of credit and loan applications will remain on your credit report for 1-2 years. Checking your own credit reports and scores online does not cause this kind of damaging inquiry.
Judgments – Court decisions such child support, civil and small claims judgments will remain on your credit report for 7 years from the filing date.
Late payments – All late payment records remain on your credit report for 7 years. However, only late payments that go beyond 30 days will continue to have a negative impact for all seven years. Read more about the real impact of late payments.
Repossession records – Vehicle and property repossession records remain on your credit report for 7 years.
Tax liens – Tax lien records can remain on your credit report indefinitely if left unpaid. Once the lien is paid, the record remains on your credit report for 7 years from the paid date. This is true for city, country, state and federal tax liens.
If you find a negative record on your credit reports that should have already expired, you can submit a dispute to the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to have the record removed. Get those financial skeletons out of your closet today!